Senate Dems stonewall Iran resolution, handing victory to Obama
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Senate Democrats blocked a resolution disapproving the Iran nuclear deal for a third time Thursday, sealing a major foreign policy victory for President Obama. 

Senators voted 56-42 against ending debate on the resolution of disapproval, falling short of the 60 votes needed on the procedural motion.

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Democratic Sens. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinCommunity development impact remains clear with NMTC post-tax reform Dem sen: ‘Difficult to understand’ Trump’s treatment of allies Dem sen: No military option in North Korea ‘without extreme risks’ MORE (Md.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinElection Countdown: Family separation policy may haunt GOP in November | Why Republican candidates are bracing for surprises | House Dems rake in record May haul | 'Dumpster fire' ad goes viral Manchin up 9 points over GOP challenger in W.Va. Senate race Senate moderates push for meeting to discuss border crisis MORE (W.Va.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSchumer: Obama 'very amenable' to helping Senate Dems in midterms The Hill's Morning Report: Can Trump close the deal with North Korea? Senate must save itself by confirming Mike Pompeo MORE (N.J.) and Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats' education agenda would jeopardize state-level success Overnight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — Trump officials move to expand non-ObamaCare health plans | 'Zero tolerance' policy stirs fears in health community | New ObamaCare repeal plan Selling government assets would be a responsible move in infrastructure deal MORE (N.Y.) for a third time bucked Obama and voted "no" on the deal.

GOP Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — Key ObamaCare groups in limbo | Opioids sending thousands of kids into foster care | House passes bill allowing Medicaid to pay for opioid treatments US watchdog: 'We failed' to stem Afghan opium production Senate passes 6B defense bill MORE (Ky.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate moving ahead with border bill, despite Trump Hillicon Valley: New FTC chief eyes shake up of tech regulation | Lawmakers target Google, Huawei partnership | Microsoft employees voice anger over ICE contract Lawmakers urge Google to drop partnership with Chinese phone maker Huawei MORE (Fla.) missed the vote, while Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate moving ahead with border bill, despite Trump Senate moderates hunt for compromise on family separation bill Hollywood goes low when it takes on Trump MORE (Texas) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump says he will sign executive order to end family separations Trump backs narrow bill halting family separations: official Overnight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — Trump officials move to expand non-ObamaCare health plans | 'Zero tolerance' policy stirs fears in health community | New ObamaCare repeal plan MORE (S.C.) voted to end debate. All four took part in Wednesday night's Republican presidential debate in California.

The vote came just hours ahead of the deadline for lawmakers to pass a resolution on the deal. With neither chamber of Congress expected to take another vote on Iran, the administration is poised to protect the agreement after months of intense lobbying aimed at solidifying Democratic support.

Opponents of the deal appeared to acknowledge defeat ahead of Thursday's vote. 

"This agreement is moving forward, we all know that," Cardin, the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said, adding that lawmakers should now focus on next steps to strengthen the agreement. 

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerOn The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Senators hammers Ross on Trump tariffs | EU levies tariffs on US goods | Senate rejects Trump plan to claw back spending Senators hammer Ross over Trump tariffs GOP senator demands details on 'damaging' tariffs MORE (R-Tenn.), who spearheaded legislation that allows for Congress to debate and vote on the agreement, added that Republicans understand that "42 senators are causing a filibuster to take place and that we're not every going to be able to get to that vote on conscience.” 

Republicans argue that Democrats are blocking the resolution in an effort to protect Obama from having to use a veto, something he's only had to use four times while in office. 

Thursday's vote comes after Democrats previously blocked the resolution of disapproval from moving forward twice. Republicans had hoped that by staging repeat votes they could pressure at least two more Democrats to buck Obama and vote against the deal. 

But Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidAmendments fuel resentments within Senate GOP Donald Trump is delivering on his promises and voters are noticing Danny Tarkanian wins Nevada GOP congressional primary MORE (D-Nev.) suggested that Republicans were wasting precious floor time with only a handful of working days left ahead of an end-of-the-month deadline to avoid a government shutdown.

"Senator McConnell has decided to waste an entire week on something that has already been decided, twice," he said. "Despite the fact that the government will be shut down in a matter of days, the world's greatest deliberative body is doing a show vote." 

Reid previously offered to let the Senate move to a final vote on the Iran nuclear deal if Republicans would agree to setting a 60-vote threshold for final passage. 

While McConnell rejected the deal, it's gained at least one Republican supporter: Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake threatens to limit Trump court nominees: report Poll: McSally holds 14-point lead in Arizona GOP Senate primary GOP senators introduce bill to prevent family separations at border MORE (R-Ariz.), who said he wants to take a final vote "and not just have endless cloture votes." 

"Take it," he said, referring to Reid's offer. "Let's get to a final vote. We've seen the end of this movie already." 

But McConnell appeared to be sticking to his strategy — even after his attempt to force a tough vote on Democrats failed. 

"Democrats have chosen to deny the Senate a final vote on the president's deal with Iran. They made their choice," he said. "Democrats ensured that this would be not just Obama's deal with Iran, but the Democratic Party's deal with Iran, too."
 
— This story was updated at 5:40 p.m.